We continued talking about anything and everything that whole fall semester, and by the time I came home for Halloween, I knew that Anthony was the kind of guy I wanted to marry. Don't misunderstand, I was in no way ready to be engaged at that point, but I knew that he was someone who I *could* marry one day.
Little did I know, he was thinking the same thing.
So as not to ruin the friendship, I just kept on being friends, figuring at some point if he felt the same way I would know. Apparently we were both too good at keeping the secret.
I had told a few of our friends, including his brother Mike, but included that I wasn't going to act on it, and keeping the friendship we had was more important to me Especially since we only saw each other during summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
By Christmas time when we were home again I was sort of upset and frustrated, another friend was very interested in Anthony, and I really thought he was interested in her as well. As much as I tried to just stay friends, my feelings of not wanting him to date someone else were getting in the way. Christmas Eve we all went to mass together, when we got home that night Anthony and I got on AIM as usual and he asked me what was wrong. I tried to brush it off, but he knew me well enough at that point to know I was lying. He said there was something he wanted to talk to me about, and we agreed to meet the day after Christmas to go shopping and talk. I was 100% convinced he was going to tell me that he was going to start dating our other friend and I needed to stop acting like I liked him.
I chatted briefly with Mike Christmas night, and he told me he and Anthony had been talking and he just wanted to warn me that it may not be what I was hoping for.
I hadn't slept in 2 days, I was pretty much a mess. He picked me up in the morning and we started to drive. I still remember where we were in the road when he said "I'm not interested in (insert name here), I like you".
See what I didn't know was that Mike, knowing the whole story, sat Anthony down after we got offline that night and laid it all out for him. Discovering at the same time that Anthony had felt the way I had all along. The whole "may not be what you are hoping for" thing was just to mess with my head. Thanks Mike!
We walked around and talked that day, we knew how we felt, but were unsure of how it would with with me in Ohio and him in New York City. We finally ended up at church, prayed a rosary together and decided that even if it wasn't going to work, we were willing to give it a try.
I won't lie, long distance dating is hard. It's hard going 11 weeks at a time without seeing each other and only having the phone and internet to communicate (and these were days before skype!) but it was worth it. And by the time we started dating we had spent so long being best friends that it was as if we skipped the first few "get to know you" months and just fell into a comfortable rhythm.
We were inseparable when we were both home, and counted down the days until we would be together again when we were at school.